Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has given “excellent hope” for the party to make a comeback in poll-bound Gujarat through his leadership, senior leader M Veerappa Moily said on Friday.
Moily, however, did not reveal whether Gandhi would take over as the Congress president before the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, scheduled on November 9. “That can’t be said, there is a process,” he said.
The former Oil Minister expressed confidence that Gandhi would be the “face of the country” in 2019 and become the Prime Minister. On the Congress’s prospects in the upcoming elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, he said the party would definitely return to power in the western state. “As far as Gujarat is concerned, Rahulji has undertaken a very intense tour there,” Moily said.
“Originally it (Gujarat) was a Congress state (before BJP came to power), but now I think the Congress will repeat its success definitely with greater vigour because we have the chances and Rahulji has, in particular, given excellent hope and leadership in Gujarat. The Congress will come back in both the states,” he said, adding organisational elections were in the “final stages”.
Moily had hinted earlier that Rahul Gandhi might assume charge as party president in September, and when asked about the repeated delays, he said, “Everybody (in the Congress) feels it is (his elevation) delayed. Now, he (Rahul) is waiting for the organisational elections. He would like to emerge as the president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) only out of the election process.”
Asked if there would be contenders against Rahul Gandhi for the party president’s post, Moily said the Gandhi scion was the natural choice. “Things (under Rahul Gandhi as Congress president) will change radically; he will give a new face. He has enough experience in the party as also in government. He will be the real face of the country in 2019 and come back as prime minister,” Moily said.
The veteran leader also rejected charges that the Grand Old Party was facing an “existential crisis”. “We are not bothered about it. Whenever people can think that they can finish it off, the Congress always emerges successfully,” he said.